Elliott’s E-Mail/August 19, 2008

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In this issue …

After summer of ‘staycations,’ travel industry rolls out the welcome mat
Travel agent takes a 100 percent commission — is that too much?
Free speech? No thanks, say airlines — unless it’s for us
How to reach yours truly
Support this site

This issue of Elliott’s E-Mail is underwritten by Skooba Design, designers of top-rated, award-winning cases and accessories for laptops and other tech/travel gear. Named “best buy” by a major independent consumer magazine, as well as leading technology, travel and general interest publications. Elliot’s E-Mail Subscribers get 20 percent off, plus free shipping (UPS Ground/48 States) on all Skooba Design orders of $50 or more. Just enter coupon code ELLIOTT20 at checkout. Some restrictions apply. Here are the details.

FIRST | Random thoughts about the week in travel

Burning question … falling into fall. What are your expectations for fall travel? I’m unusually optimistic, despite all the doom and gloom. Do you see anything encouraging about travel in the last half of 2008? Send me a note and please don’t forget to include your full name, city and occupation.

Get it. Daily. Want to get e-mail updates from this site daily instead of weekly. Why not sign up for my free daily update newsletter? Here are the details. (But you’ll want to keep this subscription, otherwise you’ll miss half the fun!)

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by Cheapflights.com, which lets you search and compare flights to find the lowest-priced airfare for your next trip. Get the details at Cheapflights.com.

Related story:   New on Elliott: The customer is always right, unfair fares, no free cruise for you - Sponsored by Floridavacationauction.com and Travelinsure.com

SIGHTINGS | Noted Elliott appearances online and offline

Did Mickey take my SUV for a spin? — Something is wrong with Lynn Seehafer’s SUV, which she valet parked at a Disney World hotel. She thinks it’s been taken for a joyride. But has it? And to what extent is Disney responsible for the vehicle? (From The Troubleshooter)

After summer of ‘staycations,’ travel industry rolls out the welcome mat — Here’s your reward for taking a staycation this summer. The price of a real vacation is now a bargain. A steal, actually. (From MSNBC.com)

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by Carrentals.co.uk, which provides the easiest and quickest way to search for car hire on the web. Our car rental search engine will compare the market in seconds and provide you with prices from up to 40 car hire suppliers. Cheap car hire is one search away!

BLOGGED | New posts on Elliott’s Blog

Travel agent takes a 100 percent commission — is that too much? — How much of a travel agent commission is too much? Ten percent? Twenty? How about 100 percent? That’s no academic question. (From Elliott Blog)

So Southwest Airlines wants my feedback? Here you go … — It’s been months — years, actually — since an airline asked for my opinion about a flight. They probably know better. So when Southwest Airlines sent me an email asking for my feedback, I just couldn’t resist. (From Elliott Blog)

Grandmother arrested after refusing to delete JetBlue fight video — Marilyn Parver filmed an altercation between two passengers on a recent JetBlue flight. When she refused to delete the footage from her video camera, she says the airline threatened to blacklist her and accused her of interfering with a flight crew, which is a federal crime. (From Elliott Blog)

Related story:   What's new on Elliott: Happy New Year, blogs to bookmark and that unpleasantness with the Department of Homeland Security

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by FirstClassFlyer.com, the only tool you need to fly first class for the price of coach — or close to it. Looking for free and purchased upgrades, two-for-ones and a fast-track to elite status strategies? Look no further than FirstClassFlyer.com

ON TRIPSO | Blog postings from the last honest travel site.

Do car renters really prefer a hybrid? Survey says … — Your next rental car may be a hybrid, if a press release issued by Hybrid Rental Car is to be believed. The site claims “a lot more people” are asking to rent one of these more fuel-efficient vehicles. (From Tripso)

Heads up! Tropical storm Fay takes aim at Florida — Tropical storm Fay may not look like much at the moment, but forecasters expect her to become a hurricane by late Tuesday. Here’s what travelers need to know about this cyclone. (From Tripso)

Free speech? No thanks, say airlines — unless it’s for us — Maybe it really was the word “bomb” on the billboard that prompted Northwest Airlines to demand the removal of an anti-nuclear sign at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. (From Tripso)

TALKBACK | How to sound off about this site

Read something you disagree with? Got a story idea or a gripe? Here’s how to be heard:

• Send me an e-mail.
• Call me. My direct phone number is (407) 699-9529.
• Send me an instant message on Gmail.
• Shoot me a note or chat by video on AIM.
• Skype me. My username is christopherjelliott.
• Find me on MySpace.
• Link to me on LinkedIn.
• Catch me on Facebook.
• See me on Flickr.
• Find out what I’m doing now on Twitter.
• Post a response below an article, in the “Comment on this article” field.

Related story:   New on Elliott: Get me a manager, no refund for my condo, stuck in a holding pattern - Sponsored by Travelinsure.com and Floridavacationauction.com

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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